Can This Be Done?

Baking By sweet56pooh Updated 2 Jun 2010 , 5:28pm by GeminiRJ

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sweet56pooh Posted 30 May 2010 , 2:15am
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I've read other posts that I can freeze decorated cookies, but is it okay to bake the cookies, freeze them, thaw them out, decorate them, freeze them again, thaw them out and then package them? Will all these temperature changes affect the cookies? I'm planning on doing cookies as favors for my daughter's first birthday party and I don't have too much time. Trying to make cookies with a three year old and a soon to be one year old is no easy task... Any suggestions would be much appreciated. TIA!!

33 replies
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verono Posted 30 May 2010 , 4:22pm
post #2 of 34

Why freeze after bake and then thaw?
I freeze my cut out cookie before baking... and I bake them like that.. and then I decorate them..

I have a 3 and a half daughter and a terrible-two little boy of 22 months.. They've learned that when mom is baking cookie, no one is allowed in the kitchen icon_lol.gif
But I work A LOT when they are sleeping.. so that's mean not a lot of sleep at night! haha

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TracyLH Posted 30 May 2010 , 7:50pm
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I don't freeze mine, but I really would not freeze them twice. I agree with Verano. I was in a bind with some cookies and timing and toyed with the the idea of freezing, but was very concerned. I spoke to a friend of mine who has been a pro for many years (owned two bakeries and did cookies for Nordies, etc) and she said that the only way that she would consider freezing is to do exactly what Verano said and to freeze the unbaked cut-out cookie. I had a schedule change, so I ended up being fine, but if I ever did try it, this is the way I would go.

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sweet56pooh Posted 30 May 2010 , 11:52pm
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Well, I live with my ILs and my MIL makes comments whenever I use the oven. I used the oven to bake one batch of cookies and she complained that the electricity bill went up $50 because of that. So, to make a long story short, I do all my baking at my parents. But I only visit them about once a week and they live 30 miles away. I know it doesn't seem that far, but living in Hawaii, that's FAR! So I wanted to do my cookies in stages. One visit bake. The next decorate. I wanted to do the cookies in advance since I was planning on making my daughter's cake as well. Lots to do!! I'm thinking about doing maybe 200-300 cookies. Any suggestions?

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all4cake Posted 31 May 2010 , 12:23am
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How are they to be decorated? Can you make the decorations in advance then bake and decorate them without having to freeze?

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ptanyer Posted 31 May 2010 , 12:30am
post #6 of 34

sweet56pooh - You need a very big hug {{{{{{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}}}}.

Living with IL's is never easy, I know from personal experience. I remember living with my first set of IL's....I couldn't do anything right and everything I did she commented about it. They are both deceased now and I can remember then fondly now, but it was tough then and I never forgot that experience.

I was taught to never re-freeze anything once it is thawed. Can you at least make them at your IL's and freeze them, and then go to your parents to bake and decorate?

I'm not much help, but wanted you to know that I feel your pain icon_smile.gif

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luv2bake6 Posted 31 May 2010 , 12:55am
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sweet56pooh, i too feel your frustration; we lived with my IL's for a year and a half a long time ago in order to save money for a house. What a nightmare!!
Anyway, if i need to prep in advance, i'll bake and ice the cookies the same day. Let dry overnight and then wrap and freeze till i need them. Defrost and decorate 2 days before, allow to dry overnight and then wrap.
This way you are only freezing and defrosting once.
I just did this with glace and it worked wonderfully.

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Karen421 Posted 31 May 2010 , 1:42am
post #8 of 34

Sweet56pooh, I'm sorry for you and for the others who have similar IL stories. I am the MIL in the family, I have my soon to be SIL and DIL living with us. (Yep - 4 adult kids - 1 house!) Our electric bill is 500.00 a month! Grocery bill? - who knows I go every day! But, we don't complain - I was in your shoes almost 30 years ago and I told my DH to remember those days!!! They are trying to finish school and save money for a house, Sooooo I get them all and I have to say we really all get along!

As far as your question, I am sorry - but I have to agree - freezing twice usually isn't good.

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sweet56pooh Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:36am
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Thanks everyone! Yup, it's not easy with the ILs, but I just have to bite my tongue and try not to explode. So I'm thinking I will make my dough, cut them out and freeze it. Then a week before the party bake and decorate. How long can I freeze dough? I hope I can do this. My FIL is a pessimist, so he's telling me I can't do it. He's trying to calculate how long it's going to take and that it's impossible. How long do you think it will take a novice to decorate 200 cookies? It's going to be the hugs and stitches theme. So butterfly, flower, ladybug, and bee. Not too much details. Thanks again everyone for everything!

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Texas_Rose Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:17am
post #10 of 34

I'm sure you can do it! 200 cookies will require a lot of space while they're drying. Are you really having that many guests? If not, maybe you can find bigger cookie cutters and make bigger cookies, but not as many. Big cookies and small cookies seem to take the same amount of time to me.

I use fondant on my cookies, which is faster. I can bake, decorate, and package 50 cookies in about three hours...longer if I have to stop in the middle to do other things, and a lot longer if they have a lot of detail.

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awatterson Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:42am
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I have actually done it. I thought that they didn't taste as good a they normally do, but everyone else thought that they were just freshly baked.

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de_montsoreau Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:44am
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I'm sorry as well that you are in such a difficult domestic situation. Why don't you try to make your live a lot easier and just ditch the thought of baking 200 (!!!) cookies as favours (!!!) for the 1st birthday of your daughter? Who will ever honour all the time and trouble you had to go through for this?
The suggestion of larger cookies is a good one - maybe make one large cookie per family that attends? Will save you a lot of trouble! Have a great party!

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debster Posted 31 May 2010 , 12:17pm
post #13 of 34

I freeze my fully decorated cookies all the time the ones with royal icing on them. Honestly for my family they stay good for 5 months I was shocked myself. The ones I do with regular icing I bake and freeze then frost when they come out. Maybe do something not so intricut for the kiddies????? Good luck with the ILS.

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pattycakesnj Posted 31 May 2010 , 12:33pm
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I would bake and decorate and then freeze. They will be fine, I would not freeze twice and I think making bigger cookies is easier than little ones.

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tiggy2 Posted 31 May 2010 , 1:17pm
post #15 of 34

I bake and freeze all the time then take out and frost. I don't re-freeze after frosting. Can you frost and bag at your in-laws (that doesn't require electricity icon_smile.gif )?

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awatterson Posted 31 May 2010 , 2:48pm
post #16 of 34

If you do freeze them after you decorate them make sure that you lay them out flat AS SOON as you take them out of the freezer so that they can dry.

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TracyLH Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:33pm
post #17 of 34

So sorry about your situation! One thing I wanted to add, is based on what I have been told, if you do freeze them you should let them defrost completely in the freezer bag before taking them out. You will likely have humidity there in HI and need to be careful. If you wanted to freeze them after decorating, I would make sure that they were completely set before freezing, heat seal them in cello bags (not plastic) that you are going to use and then place them in freezer bags. Again, I have not done this officially. This is one test I did just to see how it worked. The taste was 'okay', but not as good as fresh, which is what I needed. However... I was not trying to do 200 and living at my in-laws.

Can you do a test run with a few cookies, freeze them as mentioned above and see what you think? I like the idea of trying to do a test run also as you mentioned that you are newish to cookie-ing and 200 is a large number. Any time I plan to do a large number, I find that doing prototypes so that I can work out the steps ahead of time really helps. I think your design ideas sound so very cute, but just be careful not to overextend yourself. You might be biting off a pretty big chunk here and that would be my only concern as I did that back when I was starting out. If you find that 200 with a variety of designs is too much, might I suggest focusing on one simple design? Again, what you are doing sounds so cute, but you might want to keep that idea as a back-up. Just a thought. So I would try freezing in cello, sealed in freezer bags, bring to room temp in the bags. Take them out, tie on your ribbon or tag and you would be good to go. Again, I haven't done this 'officially', but if you are going to freeze after decorating, this might be a good option. Again, just my thoughts.

A test run is the best way to go if time permits and when you do your planning calendar, allow extra time. That always helps me. If I ever do freeze, I will freeze the unbaked cookies, bake them and then decorate. It only mentioned the 'freezing after' idea as I see it mentioned. I just thought the cello bag and defrosting completely in the bag first would help.

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GeminiRJ Posted 31 May 2010 , 5:38pm
post #18 of 34
Originally Posted by de_montsoreau

I'm sorry as well that you are in such a difficult domestic situation. Why don't you try to make your live a lot easier and just ditch the thought of baking 200 (!!!) cookies as favours (!!!) for the 1st birthday of your daughter? Who will ever honour all the time and trouble you had to go through for this?

I have to agree! Are you sure you want all this added stress? Will you be able to enjoy the party, or will you be too frazzled? 200 cookies is A LOT of cookies! Even simple designs will mean hours of work for you. All my best to you, whatever you decide.

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Marianna46 Posted 31 May 2010 , 6:04pm
post #19 of 34

I wish you the best of luck on this! I know what it's like to REALLY want to do something for your child's birthday but not to be in the ideal situation. I lived with my in-laws for a few years at first, too, but fortunately they were like a second set of parents - always supportive, which was nice, since I was only 22 and in a new country! I agree with others here that you need to see where you can cut out some steps and there have been some very good suggestions for doing that in this thread. My question is do you really need to freeze them again after decorating them? It seems to me that in Hawaii your biggest problem would be that they might absorb moisture, so maybe the ideal thing would be to put them in airtight containers after the decorations dry. Decorating them with fondant would also help no end, since it doesn't contribute as much moisture as other icings do, and you can cut out the basic shape with the same cookie cutter and just plunk it on top of the cookie with a little piping gel or jelly. Whatever you decide to do, I hope everything turns out just the way you wanted it to!

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sweet56pooh Posted 31 May 2010 , 6:22pm
post #20 of 34

I was thinking about decorating at home, but knowing my ILs, they will find something to complain about. I can't do nothing right in their eyes. My cookies are going to be 4" and we are expecting about 200 guest. First birthdays are HUGE in Hawaii. We go all out even though the little one won't remember or fully appreciate it. Thanks again for all your suggestions!! I really appreciate it. Now I just have to figure out if I should decorate in glacé or RI...

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awatterson Posted 31 May 2010 , 6:26pm
post #21 of 34

Glace tastes a million times better! If you put a ton of powdered sugar in it then it will get thick enough to use for outlining.

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sweet56pooh Posted 31 May 2010 , 10:00pm
post #22 of 34

I'm doing a test run today. I will see if I'm biting off too much. I usually do with all my projects. icon_biggrin.gif I'm going to decorate and freeze. We shall see... Thank you, thank you everyone for all your support and ideas! I really appreciate it!!
And the stress is my weight loss program. Lol! icon_lol.gif

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luv2bake6 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 1:48am
post #23 of 34

I wish you much luck and look forward to hearing about your test run. And hey, if it all works well in the end, you get to prove your fil wrong!! No greater pleasure, huh?

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DetailsByDawn Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 2:15am
post #24 of 34

I had to do the bake & freeze scenario not too long ago. Same situation - my very first cookies (i normally just do cakes) and an order for 200 for a baptism. I have a small kitchen and little ones, so I work at night. You can safely freeze twice as long as the first freeze is uncooked dough and the second freeze is baked. I only froze once though. This is the method I used and it worked great! I made all my dough, wrapped and refrigerated. Next day, I rolled it all out onto parchment sheets, cut out my shapes and layered them on cookie sheets, between parchment, and back in the fridge. Next day, I baked. One after the other, into the oven (still on the parchment). As they came out, I let them cool and then started flooding in glace (it tastes better than RI) and let dry. Keep in mind, I'm still baking, but there are cookies everywhere! Then I decorated with RI. Once dry, I placed in ziplock freezer bags, with a layer of parchment over top, sucked the air out and sealed, placed in the freezer and left them for a few weeks. I took the frozen cookies out 2 days in advance of the party and let come to room temp (a couple of hours) then bagged and tied. Everyone raved about how fresh they were and I didn't say a word about the month-long process!! A couple of things - whether you use glace or RI, if you are freezing, make sure to add about 8 drops of icing whitener to your batch (per bag of PS) before colouring - this will prevent discoloured spots from forming on your decorated cookies once you thaw them. The second thing is make ABSOLUTELY sure that your cookies are dry before freezing - I lost a couple of bags where the design tranfered onto to the ziplock (hence the reason I would lay a piece of parchment over top of the cookies inside the freezer bag). Also, when you cut your shapes, fill your cookie sheet with the same shape on one sheet - this way, when you're decorating, you will require the same colours over and over and you'll get faster and better as you go. Hope this helps and much luck to you. You will feel so amazing when your IL'S hear all the wonderful compliments you'll be getting on your beautiful cookies!!

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Marianna46 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 6:57am
post #25 of 34

Wow, DetailsByDawn, what an undertaking! But it seems your careful planning and execution carried the day. Congratulations!

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sweet56pooh Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 8:57am
post #26 of 34

Thanks Detailsbydawn!! You are an inspiration to me! 200 cookies, here I come!!

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sweet56pooh Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 7:57am
post #27 of 34

Update: I baked some cookies and practiced decorating them. I used Khalstead's modified NFSC and GeminiRJ's glace icing. Is this simple enough to do 200? It doesn't seem like it took that long. I had a hard time at first because I had the icing too thick, but once I thinned it down, it was so much easier. I'm thinking about outlining them in black, but I'm a little worried about using black... I had problems with the dots on the ladybug. The one on the top left I did wet on wet and the bottom right I did the dots first then flooded with the pink. Any suggestions with that? What do you guys think? Any constructive criticism would be appreciated. Thanks!!

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GeminiRJ Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 11:01am
post #28 of 34

I LOVE them the way they are! So bright and fun and cheery! They'll be the talk of the party! And I would opt for the wet-on-wet. It'll be quicker, and it looks very nice.

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TracyLH Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 12:27pm
post #29 of 34

Hurray for you!!! These look great!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif I agree with GeminiRJ. Wet-on-wet will be faster. Just make sure that the consistency of your icings is the same to prevent bleeding. Don't go too thin on them. Once done, put them under a fan to get them drying faster as well. You have the humidty factor out there. Also, you might want to do a test on the wet-on-wet. You can just do it on parchment paper if you don't have any cookies. This way you practice it and can see how well it worked for you.

As for being able to do 200, you need to look at how long that took in order to calculate that. Work out the timing by step and then you will know how long it will take. When you are doing all of one kind at a time, it will go faster.

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Marianna46 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:14pm
post #30 of 34

Your cookies really are lovely, sweet56pooh! I'm sure the final batch will be a total success. Way to go!!!

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